What advice would you give to a newbie or struggling writer?
I have to admit I don’t usually give advice because I hate to GET advice, but this one I’ll answer.
I started writing when I learned to read. Really. When I was a kid I wrote stories about kids who were kidnapped by adults who wanted them to have a better life. They were brought to an island and given an unlimited supply of love, cookies, books and pets.
Yeah, I know. But I was a kid.
Throughout college and in my early nursing career, I wrote many articles for trade nursing magazines and publications.
When I became a parent I wrote many articles on child rearing and children’s issues. I had two children’s fiction books published at this time.
In my 40’s and early fifties, I started writing articles on women’s health care, eye care, and general aging care. Hey, write what you know; you know?!
Throughout all this non-fiction writing and publication, I also wrote adult fiction. It started with mystery novels, morphed into suspense that grew into romantic suspense and then finally just romance.
It is safe to say that I have been writing for 48 years. This year when I turn 55 years old, I will have my very first contemporary romance published.
The point of all this lead up is that I never, ever gave up writing.
Not during the years I didn’t have anything published and no one would look at or represent my stuff.
Not during the times when I had NO time to write.
Not during the moments of supreme self doubt that I could even string a written sentence together to be understood by others.
I kept writing, hoping, wishing and planning.
This year it will all pay off.
So here’s my advice to newbie and/or struggling writers: never, ever, ever stop writing.
If writing is the first and/or last thing you think about every day, then do it.
If you’re driving somewhere and a plot point jumps into your brain, stop and record it.
If you have only an hour to yourself each day because of work/family/whatever, then spend part of that hour – or all of it – writing.
If you have something to say, a story to tell, or a word of wisdom to impart, please, write it.
Don’t ever stop. Even if you think your words will never see any space but the lines on your laptop. Who cares? Write anyway.
Don’t stop. Don’t give in to self doubt. Don’t give up.